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R. Kelly: Trapped In The Closet: Chapters... In this uncensored version of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet," the R&B... more info $11.98was $11.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Robert S. Kelly Died:
Born: January 8, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Wildly imaginative and undeniably talented, R. Kelly stormed the charts in the early 1990s with a string of hits that blended R&B, hip-hop and New Jack Swing. He overcame an impoverished upbringing through his love of music and emerged as a successful solo artist with his 1993 debut 12 Play. His innuendo-laded slow jams "Bump N' Grind" and "Your Body's Callin'" from the album seemingly turned Kelly into a modern master of R&B overnight. His ubiquitous, Grammy Award-winning single "I Believe I Can Fly" (1996) remained the artist's most successful record as well as his signature hit. He also established a successful track record as a songwriter and producer who collaborated with artists ranging from Michael Jackson to Jay-Z. Kelly's secret marriage to protégé Aaliyah, underage at the time of their marital union, hampered his reputation and foretold more legal troubles later in his career involving an alleged predilection for underage girls. He managed to bounce back from serious controversy with the 2003 party anthem "Ignition (Remix)." In 2005, Kelly released his most ambitious project, a multi-chapter song and music video series titled "Trapped in the Closet," which gained a cult-like following and...

Wildly imaginative and undeniably talented, R. Kelly stormed the charts in the early 1990s with a string of hits that blended R&B, hip-hop and New Jack Swing. He overcame an impoverished upbringing through his love of music and emerged as a successful solo artist with his 1993 debut 12 Play. His innuendo-laded slow jams "Bump N' Grind" and "Your Body's Callin'" from the album seemingly turned Kelly into a modern master of R&B overnight. His ubiquitous, Grammy Award-winning single "I Believe I Can Fly" (1996) remained the artist's most successful record as well as his signature hit. He also established a successful track record as a songwriter and producer who collaborated with artists ranging from Michael Jackson to Jay-Z. Kelly's secret marriage to protégé Aaliyah, underage at the time of their marital union, hampered his reputation and foretold more legal troubles later in his career involving an alleged predilection for underage girls. He managed to bounce back from serious controversy with the 2003 party anthem "Ignition (Remix)." In 2005, Kelly released his most ambitious project, a multi-chapter song and music video series titled "Trapped in the Closet," which gained a cult-like following and established his wild reputation as an all-around entertainer who was never less than fascinating.

Robert Sylvester Kelly was born on Jan. 8, 1967 in Chicago, IL. Raised by a single mother in the projects on the city's South Side, the future star found his artistic voice at an early age by singing at his Baptist church and at school, where his teachers encouraged him to perform R&B classics during talent shows. By the time he reached his teen years, he was earning money performing on the streets and Chicago's subway tunnels. Kelly landed his first big break in 1991 after forming the R&B group MGM (Musically Gifted Men) and competing on the talent competition "Big Break," where they were crowned champions and walked away with a $100,000 prize. Their success was short-lived, however. Kelly found himself back in his hometown struggling to land a record deal. The singer made a second attempt at stardom by forming another group called R. Kelly & Public Announcement. Jive Records signed the quartet in 1992 and released its debut Born into the '90s that same year. The album topped the R&B and hip-hop charts, largely due to the singles "Honey Love" and "Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)." More than anything, Born into the '90s highlighted R. Kelly's commanding presence as a vocalist and entertainer.

In 1993, R. Kelly decided to drop the group act and pursue a solo career. He reached his first No. 1 with "Bump N' Grind," a sexually suggestive track off his debut solo release 12 Play. The album shot to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 chart and remained at the top of the R&B chart for nine consecutive weeks. He continued to dominate the airwaves and MTV with the follow-up single "Your Body's Callin,'" which established R. Kelly as a slow-jamming, hit-making prince of R&B. He found similar success as a songwriter-producer, but none more so than his collaboration with his own protégé Aaliyah. The New York-born singer was just 14 when she recorded her debut Age Ain't Nothing But a Number (1994) with R. Kelly behind the mixing board. The album spawned two certified gold singles - the bouncy R&B track "Back & Forth" and a cover of The Isley Brothers' 1976 hit "At Your Best (You Are Love)." The relationship between R. Kelly and Aaliyah, who was 12 years his junior, proved far more complicated after rumors circulated that the two were dating. It was later reported that the couple wed in August 1994 while Aaliyah was only 15 years old (although her age was listed as 18 on their wedding certificate). Their union was eventually annulled in February 1995, yet R. Kelly and Aaliyah denied the marriage allegations. The controversy did little to tarnish R. Kelly's professional reputation. One of his most famous collaborations was the ballad "You Are Not Alone," recorded by Michael Jackson for his album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I (1995). The ballad was the King of Pop's last No. 1 hit in the U.S. following the King of Pop's own scandals involving children.

R. Kelly landed at the top of the Billboard 200 in 1995 with his self-titled sophomore album, which was also his second No. 1 on the R&B charts, but with far less provocative lyrics than its predecessor. R. Kelly was met with positive reviews and featured the tracks "You Remind Me of Something" and "Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)." When the Michael Jordan/Looney Tunes film "Space Jam" (1996) needed a powerful theme song, R. Kelly recorded what eventually became his signature hit, "I Believe I Can Fly." The inspirational track went to the top of the R&B and pop charts in the U.S., but also did significantly well in countries like the U.K. and Australia. Even though it first appeared on the film's soundtrack, "I Believe I Can Fly" was included in Kelly's 1998 double album R. and won three Grammy Awards that same year.

As his commercial sales and critical accolades racked up, so did Kelly's legal troubles that threatened to damage his career. In 2000, a home video was anonymously sent to the Chicago Sun-Times that allegedly showed R. Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a girl who was reportedly as young as 13 years old. Even though the young woman defended the singer and said that she had consented, it prompted an FBI investigation and a 2002 arrest on counts of having sex with a minor. Kelly was again arrested in 2003 after authorities searched his home in Florida and found photos of an underage girl on a digital camera. The charges were dropped the following year due to inconsistencies with the search warrants.

Not surprisingly, his music took a back seat to the controversies that enveloped R. Kelly's career, from lukewarm reviews for The Best of Both Worlds, his 2002 collaboration with rapper Jay-Z, to a delay in the release of his supposed sixth album Loveland. Kelly eventually scrapped the latter and re-recorded it as Chocolate Factory. Released in 2003, the album was a much-needed comeback for the singer and included the feel-good party anthem "Ignition (Remix)." Kelly took on his most ambitious project in 2005 with a "hip-hopera" titled "Trapped in the Closet." The first five chapters appeared on his album TP.3 Reloaded (2005) and told the story of an unfortunate one-night stand that sets off a chain of events involving infidelity, crime, and a mysterious "ailment" that some speculated was a metaphor for the HIV virus. A total of 22 chapters of "Trapped in the Closet" were released between 2005 and 2007, resulting in a cult following for the overly dramatic narrative and equally outlandish music video that Kelly directed and starred in. The project was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic and featured in a controversial 2006 episode of "South Park" (Comedy Central, 1997- ). In December 2011, R. Kelly revealed he had written 32 more chapters of "Trapped in the Closet," but simply awaited financing for continuation of the project.

By Candy Cuenco

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fade to Black (2004)
3.
 3rd Annual BET Awards (2003) Featuring
5.
7.
 2002 Olympic Winter Games (2002) (Opening Ceremony)
10.
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